Mitchell Johnson defended 11 in the final over – four off the last ball – as Mumbai Indians won their third IPL title. Here are the reactions from their players and team management after the game.
“Amazing, simply amazing! At the break time, we got together and discussed few things. Mahela gave us a nice speech, which was needed. I can’t repeat it here. We needed to think right and when you do that, performance follows. We believed we could pull it off and that’s what Rohit and the team members did.
“I always believe in the motto: once a champion, always a champion. Malinga is known for yorkers. He’s delivered for us for 10 years. I was sure he’d deliver tonight. He’s not had the kind of season we’re used to, but we knew he’s one guy who could change the game.”
“It was well set up in the last couple of overs. We needed to get Smith off strike and get him out. He gave himself room. I was trying to get him to hit towards the leg side, the bigger side of the field. It was a good shot but not good enough at the end.
“I wasn’t thinking too much, just wanted to be clear with my plan: bowl full at the stumps and get the guys hit leg side. Smithy, off side isn’t his strength, fortunate the shot went to hand. You play the game for these pressure situations. I told Bumrah that it helped me that he hit me for six off that second last ball. I felt like I was more clear then.”
Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians coach
“The guys showed a lot of character, especially the senior guys who kept calm. It was a marathon. It’s not about how you start but about how you finish. In a big game, considering the wicket might play slow, we felt we had a senior group of bowlers who could handle pressure. That was the reason for batting first. In the final, there’s 20 runs for nerves. Their nerves showed.”
“The ball was reversing a bit, we needed a wicket at that time [in the 17th over]. We kept on fighting from the first over. To get Mahi bhai’s wicket was crucial, he can be dangerous in these situations.
“After the first innings, we wanted to fight. We were short of runs. The bowling effort was brilliant. We were backing each other at the end. We knew we had the experience. Fourth time lucky. I was a youngster in 2013, I was sitting on the bench then. To play with the guys and win with them is a brilliant feeling.”
“To be able to defend like that, it was a great effort. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Whenever you’re defending a total like that, the first thing you need is to believe. I told the boys, the last game we played against KKR, the way we defended that, got them all out for 105, so why not here?
“The pitch was assisting the bowlers so it was about exploiting those conditions. If everything happens together, it’s good, if it doesn’t, it feels bad. I had confidence in the bowlers who were going to bowl the last three overs. They’ve done the job for their respective countries, franchises. It was all about giving that freedom to them. Let them do what they want to, they’re the masters. I told them you do what you want, tell me what you’re planning, I’ll set the field accordingly.”
“I couldn’t contribute with the bat, but the catch [of Steven Smith] will remain with me.”
“I couldn’t sit still. I went up and down the stairs 15 times. Bumrah, I don’t know if Indian cricket realises how good this guy is going to be. Superstar.”
“When wickets were falling at the other end, I wanted to play till 20 overs because I was the only batsman left.”
“We’ve been playing team cricket. We haven’t had individual brilliance this season. The way Krunal batted to keep us in the game was fantastic.”
Shane Bond, Mumbai’s bowling coach
“It was exciting, heart-wrenching all at the same time. We spoke about leaders stepping up in the field yesterday. When the pressure came on, all of them stood up. Jasprit, at 23, he continues to step up. Great to work with him, he stood up on the biggest stage.”
“I thought before the innings started, having played for Sunrisers, we could defend 150. I passed it on to the guys. They [Rising Pune] took the game too deep anyway because it was difficult to score runs at the end. We played very good cricket right through the tournament under pressure, the catch which Rayudu took turned the game around.”
“We’re here because of the bowlers. This is a great experience, I hope to carry this on to the Ranji Trophy season. To win a second IPL title in three seasons, it can’t get bigger than this.”
“Runs on the board is runs on the board. Scoreboard pressure puts pressure on the batting team. The plan was to not give them boundaries. We have a lot of match winners in our team, they delivered.”
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